ADHD: Three Tips for Avoiding Medicine Battles
I should start by saying my ADHD son is only ten, and the battle might start in earnest at any point, but so far we have not had major conflicts over taking his ADHD medicine. Twice he's spit it out, both times within about a month at about 8.5 years old.
I should start by saying my ADHD son is only ten, and the battle might start in earnest at any point, but so far we have not had major conflicts over taking his ADHD medicine. Twice he's spit it out, both times within about a month at about 8.5 years old. Both times I invoked some mild punishment and sat him down for a talk, and it hasn't happened since.
I have some tips that I think have helped in our house, and might help you with ADHD medicine routine problems.
1. Make sure your ADHD child knows what the medicine does. My son sometimes asks, when he's having a bad day, "Have I had my medicine today?" He knows the medicine controls his ADHD impulsivity and distractability and helps him focus and be sociable. We've discussed this many times, in varying degrees of complexity, since he started ADHD medicine four years ago.
2. Have a routine. My son takes his ADHD medication when he brushes his teeth and before he puts on his shoes to go to school. We never forget it on a school day, because we have a routine. We even remember on Sunday, because we get up for church. But on Saturday, look out! His dad steps in and helps on weekends, because he knows I can't remember my own medication without a routine, let alone someone else's. Routine is key.
3. Have a rule. My ADHD son WILL take his medication. If he decides to try to fool me and spit it out, I will take away a privilege. If it happens a second time, I will take away two privileges simultaneously, and they will be gone longer. And so on. Deliberately not taking his ADHD medication has only been an issue twice when he decided to test me. I stood my ground, and it hasn't been an issue since.
If your ADHD child knows the medication helps, he will be less likely to avoid taking it. A routine helps prevent forgetting. And a rule makes it easier to enforce taking ADHD medication.
Angie Dixon is a writer and ADHD mom of an ADHD son, Jack. For a free report on helping your ADHD son, see Angie's site "That's My Son!" at http://www.Raising-the-ADHD-boy.com.